My guests today are Pavi Gupta, Head of Insights & Analytics at Johnson & Johnson Vision and Kelsy Saulsbury, Sr. Manager of Strategic Insights & Analytics at Johnson & Johnson Vision.
These interviews are being done in conjunction with the Qual360 North America 2021. It will take place virtually on a dedicated conference platform! The unique Qual360 concept allows for a diverse range of participants and topics at each conference, offering local trends as well as a global perspective.
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Jamin Brazil: Hey everyone, thanks so much for joining me on the happy market research podcast. This is a special series that we are doing with QUAL360 North America 2021. This will be a virtual event. I hope that you can join. There is a link in the show notes for registration. This is a specifically unique event for QUAL360. The concept allows for an increase in diversity of the participations as well as the presenters and offers a global perspective. And so with that, I would like to introduce today’s guests. We have two guests today, which is a little bit unusual for our format. Pavi Gupta, head of Insights and Analytics at Johnson & Johnson vision. And Kelsy Saulsberry, Senior Manager of Strategic Insights and Analytics at Johnson & Johnson vision. I would like to point out that the interview reflects their personal points of view, not those of their employer. With that, welcome to the podcast. This episode is brought to you by Survey Monkey. You may know Survey Monkey as a leader in feedback software, but may not know about their all in one market research platform. It’s powered by AI technology and taps into an integrated global audience panel to deliver insights faster without compromising quality. Their latest innovation is the survey monkey brands tracker. It disrupts traditional research techniques by helping companies continuously monitor shifts in brand perception. Instead of static presentations, data is delivered by dynamic dashboards, revolutionary AI powered insights instantly surface meaningful trends. So you can spend less time digging through data and more time on your high impact strategy. To learn more about survey monkeys market research solutions, take a second, visit surveymonkey.com slash market dash research. That’s surveymonkey.com slash market dash research. Thank you both for joining me on the happy market research podcast today. It’s an absolute pleasure to have you.
Pavi Gupta: Thank you.
Kelsy Saulsbury: Yes, thank you.
Jamin Brazil: Let’s start with the specific topic. What is the topic of your session at this year’s QUAL360?
Kelsy Saulsbury: So we’re going to talk about rethinking qualitative research and the move towards real time insights. Which is a topic we’re definitely really- Pavi, and I are both very passionate about how do we get to real time insights? How do we get more agile? And how do we kind of continuously innovate within market research?
Jamin Brazil: Of course, that’s a topic that there’s a lot of innovation that’s happened around in the last five years. Are you seeing any like material trends inside of qualitative market research that are helping you be more agile?
Kelsy Saulsbury: I think one of the things that I know Pavi and I are both passionate about is really the advancement we continue to see around social listening. And as many of you know that’s been around a long time. But we’re starting to really see some progress now that like, I feel like data science and machine learning and AI and social listening are starting to converge. And I’m starting to see a little more movement there. I don’t think it’s to where we wish it was. And if I think back early in my career where we thought things would move maybe much more quickly than they have been. But I think we feel like we’re starting to really see some progress there. What about you Pavi?
Pavi Gupta: Yes definitely, I would say that definitely is a trend. I would also add on that actually. What has happened in the last few years, we have seen a complete explosion in the digital space. With social, digital and mobile completely taking over the world in terms of everything that’s going on. And with the advancements in the tech space with storage space becoming cheaper and Algorithms and Data Science becoming more accessible is that there’s definitely been a lot of leaning in towards the data and analytics part of it. As a direct consequence, it’s also I feel become fashionable to beat up quality, traditional qualitative research. In every small instance or forum that is possible from a perspective of saying, oh, focus groups and you don’t really get what you need and all of that. And I feel that there is a lot of ignorance that is out there when it comes to really understanding the true meaning of qualitative research. Because qual research is not about really hearing or listening to what is said. But really, it’s about inferring what is behind what is being said. What is it that people mean when they say what they say? So I think that has been a little bit an area of concern for us because the way we are structured is we look at incites, data and analytics together. Because we believe that the true power is by stitching pieces together and integrating and therefore inferring to get to the deeper underlying reasons and understanding of the truth.
Jamin Brazil: It’s the context of the primary research, right? That you’re talking about?
Pavi Gupta: Absolutely.
Kelsy Saulsbury: I think one slightly different note too that’s really coming to me from kind of the consumer side, if I think about some of the digital space where qualitative plays. If we think about online ethnography, or even online interviews, web interviews. I’ve worked in a couple of different business, particularly with older consumers. And if I look back pre-pandemic. So this is also related to changes being pushed by the pandemic. Working with say baby boomers in the US, trying to do an online research was so painful to get them to go online to do anything. You get video and they’re like looking off into space. I’ve since done work during the pandemic, and I think it’s forced our consumer base, even older populations to really be comfortable with online interaction just for their daily lives. So I do think that has also pushed qualitative online research forward, because the participants are also just more used to interacting that way in general.
Pavi Gupta: Just to build on that, Kelsy is the other side of the equation here is, with the advent of this pandemic, I think there has been an increasing realization of the fact that the data systems have been polluted. Because no one knows, like the- In this particular case, the past is unable to predict the future. Because the world hasn’t experienced this amount of disruption that is happening with the pandemic. As a result, I have seen distinctly with our stakeholders, there has been a real gravitation towards some of the traditional approaches, because the business is trying to really – really trying to sculpt the fog, if you may, in terms of understanding what’s going on, and try to predict and infer the future. So to that extent, there has been a renaissance of qual as well as quantitative primary research techniques. Despite the fact that there has been a lot of progress on the data side.
Jamin Brazil: Are you pointing to when you say gravitational pull towards traditional? Immediately I’m thinking about trackers. Because that’s something obviously the industry is moved away from over the last five years as we needed to become a little more agile. Are you seeing a resurgence of the tracker?
Pavi Gupta: So in some small ways, yes. And I don’t know whether this is kind of a fad, or it’s going to be a trend. But definitely, at least we have seen a more- A little bit more concerted effort towards really trying to put our finger or tap into what’s going on in that marketplace? How are the signals indicating what kind of likelihood of return to the new normal is right? However, that doesn’t mean that it’s a traditional old world tracker. It’s more about the philosophy of picking up that information in a much more agile manner. And in some cases, it’s kind of being like pulse checks. And in some cases, it’s about how you tap into the social digital chatter that is already out there as well.
Jamin Brazil: What do you think about in person? As things start stabilizing, and we’re all given the shots.
Kelsy Saulsbury: I would say for me, what’s interesting is I was probably moving personally away from in person a bit. Even before, just I’ve tended to work in particular segments of parts of companies within larger companies where I have the scrappier budgets. And so then moving to more digital based tends to help with some of those cost constraints, time zone constraints, etcetera. So I was actually moving in that direction. You do lose some things when you’re not in person. It’s harder to get some of those nonverbals. It’s harder to get some of that read between the lines that you’re really talented ethnographers and really talented qualitative people can get. But sometimes if you’re making some of those trade off choices, some of that’s kind of already gone by the wayside in some of the businesses I’ve supported. But I know probably that might be different on some from what you might have experienced.
Pavi Gupta: I agree. And this is still unfolding. You still have- Who could have guessed that right now, at a global level 2021 is on track to be worse than 2020? From impact of the pandemic, both in terms of cases as well as fatalities. Who would have thought that remember the time when we were wrapping up the year and looking to welcome 2020, when we all thought it this is all behind us? And I know that in the States, we are feeling much better and few of the countries where vaccinations have taken off, feeling much better. But then we’ve got to remember that it’s a globally interconnected world now. And as long as this is out there, there is always a risk of some kind of a disruption that could come through. So this entire space on kind of going back to in person is still, I feel it’s still an element that we don’t know how this is going to play out. Is this impacting the way we are doing our work? To some extent, yes. And I feel in the shorter run, we’ll still be OK. But in the longer run, there is a risk, the longer we don’t go back to in person in some ways or shape or form, the more likelihood that we’ll start missing out some aspects of the depth and breadth of what we need to understand.
Jamin Brazil: My last question for both of you, and this is a staple on the show. So a little bit off topic. But Kelsy, let’s start with you. What is your personal motto?
Kelsy Saulsbury: I found that to be a fascinating question. And I feel like I don’t have any like good little quip to say. But generally speaking, what I always gravitate towards is I think about learning and growing and new experiences. And that’s always the driving force for my entire life in terms of what’s happiness, and what’s my journey. Which probably is why I have such passion about continuing to push within the market research industry and continuing to innovate in what we do as well.
Jamin Brazil: Pavi, what about yourself?
Pavi Gupta: Definitely. So one thing I’m really really big on, is what I call as the power of and. And even in my personal life, as a first generation immigrant, I believe in the fact that I’ve been exposed to two different cultures growing, and being born and brought up in one and then adopting a different culture is like, there are some great things that we can bring together. And there are some elements that we could probably kind of ignore or forget. So, I bring that to my professional life as well, from an aspect of when I look at insights, and data and analytics. And I truly believe that we can get to a much deeper and broader understanding, if we bring the power of the And. The power of leveraging primary research to do some parts. Understanding some parts of that equation. Using data and analytics and anything that’s out there in terms of social listening, or first party data, and all of that. That gives you a different texture, a different depth, or different horizontal view if you may. But the power of bringing all of this together is how you could actually stitch the pieces together. And actually put all that parts of the puzzle to get to that elusive understanding of the truth.
Jamin Brazil: Creating that complete view of the customer. You’ve done a really good way of articulating how to do that. My guests today have been Pavi Gupta, head of Insights and Analytics at Johnson & Johnson vision and Kelsy Saulsbury, Senior Manager of Strategic Insights and Analytics at Johnson & Johnson vision. Thank you both for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast today.